Coke ovens, in this configuration and in the beehive configuration, used to be thick on the ground around this area of Wise County. We’re near Pine Branch and these are a few of the 60 remaining derelict coke ovens…there used to be over 300 here, with railroad access, from around 1920 to about 1980. They were used to burn coal in the absence of oxygen to produce coke, which burns cleanly at high temperature. Catnip, as they say, for steel makers.
How cool ,Bob! I use to drive by these everyday, when I lived in Norton. Great memories! Thanks!
When I was a teeny little girl, living in Pennington Gap, Daddy used to take us driving on Sunday afternoons. I remember several times going to see the coke ovens. I was always so amazed by them.